old faithful wrote: The story Jackson gave about marzenbier was that Sedlmayr at Spatenbrau in Munich was inspired by Dreher's original bottom-fermented beer to make something similar. It caught on, he said, in Bavaria even though a marzenbier was originally a seasonal beer, made before refrigeration and methodical lagering - pioneered by Dreher and Sedlmayr - reduced the need to rely on seasonal productions.
This is the story I get as reoccuring in the reading I have done.
To capsulize: Sedlmayr and Dreher were contemporaries, collaborators and pioneers in the brewing art....essentially, they created lager beers whose popularity with drinkers swept away older top fermented styles virtually over night in mainland Europe and the Americas. Sedlmayr is credited with the perfection of commercial cold lagering and cooler temp, bottom fermenting lager yeasts and Dreher ( who was also a master malter) invented a malt style from low sugar Moravian barley that produced reddish melonins, adequate sugar conversion, little carmelization and rich toasty flavors....this resulted in a cold lagered Vienna beer of copper-red color that florished in Austria in the mid to late 19th century.
Sedlmayr , now located in Munich, tried to duplicate Dreher's copper-red Vienna lager with a version of toasted more sugary munich malt, and although he reproduced the rich soft mouth of Dreher's Vienna, he could not reproduce the color, subtle complexity or the non cloying crisp finish....largely due to the fact he did not have access to the unique Vienna specialty malt Dreher was making.
History and fate were kind to Sedlmayr as his efforts spawned one of Munich's largest and successful brewing empires (Spaten) and his lager creation to honor his friend Dreher's Vienna, became widely known as the rich orange-gold Oktoberfest marzen. Sedlmayr encouraged other brewers to copy his marzen style which made the style popular and in wide distribution. Dreher was secretive about his brewing and malting expertise and after his death little specific knowledge of creating his Vienna lager survives today... with the exception of the approximations that modern brewers concoct based on what little historic record exists....the one thing we do seem to have historic record of is how Vienna tasted and looked and how it differed from Sedlmayr's Munich Marzens and it was from these records that Jackson and others such as the people who put the beer judging style guidelines together have recorded a flavor profile for Vienna lager: http://www.bjcp.org/styles04/Category3.html#style3A
Anyway as regards the Dos Equis and Negra Modelo, I haven't tried them yet. I think having been made in the new world for a long time and by a large company, they have to be judged on their own merits, i.e., regardless whether it is intended they reflect any particular style.
I had these 20 years ago and enjoyed them at the time. I imagine at their best they are pretty good but I think they are unlikely to resemble a craft beer.
Proper way to come at this tasting Gary. My point in this thread seems to be misunderstood and that IS:
This is high volume Mexican macro beer. Most Mex dark macros are disappointing for one reason or another..adjucts mostly.....and I am not saying that this Negro Modelo is some wonder Vienna. What I wanted to get across was that this Modelo has (unexpectedly) a flavor profile that actually approximates the Vienna lager as per the BJCP guidelines. Malty front without cloying some toasted complex and crisp finish. Yet it is advertised as a Munich style dark??? On the lager scale I would not rate it great, or good but fair to passable....and if it has one drawback it is not the overt appearance of adjuncts in flavor or nose but a uncharacteristic "sharpness" from lack of proper cold lagering. I suspect that leaving beer to condition for 30 days or more in refrigerated tanks is a costly thing for a high colume commercial brewer in a hot country.
I also note that this is one of the oldest beers continuously brewed by Modelo and it is categorized as "super premium" suggessting an all malt beer...but who knows...they call it a Munich dark as well
Just as a side note of related interest:
Dreher was widely celebrated in his time (1840-1860s) for his lager creation...he was known as "the king of beers"
and his brewery was in Michalovce or (Michelob) Bohemia.
..... have you ever heard these terms used in moder beer marketing??
add this to the previous A-B rip off of Bohemia's oldest brewer Budějovický Budvar ( Budweiser)
and you can see there was a concerted effort in the early marketing thrust of AB to identify themselves with the origins of lager beer.